Our guest speaker this week was Simon Aing. He is of Cambodian-Chinese extraction and has married into Maoridom, which has given him a particular view of the world.
Simon describes himself as a serial entrepreneur. His two main businesses at present are Easybuild Homes and Concept Solutions. Easybuild supplies part-prefabricated houses from its Upper Hutt factory. A home can be onsite in 8-9 weeks, and
Simon says costs are more predictable and stable with this system.
Concept Solutions is an energy company specialising in solar/battery systems, especially in ‘cluster’ situations where several dwellings share their energy production and take-off. This idea already exists in Europe and it is claimed that it results in efficiency and robustness of supply.
Simon has put together a vision which encompasses groups of low-cost homes, shared energy supply, and the needs of Maori and Pasifika communities, who often have multi-generational living arrangements. Furthermore, Iwi often have land where the ownership is shared and cannot easily be used as collateral for investment.
Simon points out that the concept might also be used as an alternative to the retirement village.
A most interesting talk and possibly a peek into the future.